TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Obama's 'My Brother's Keeper' program to target minorities with high jobless rates

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By USA Today
Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, 8:54 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — President Obama is planning to introduce an initiative with specific targets: African-American and Hispanic men who have disproportionate rates of unemployment.

Under the “My Brother's Keeper” program, foundations, businesses and community groups would develop plans to help men of color at particularly vulnerable times of their lives, administration officials said.

In previewing the initiative during last month's State of the Union address, Obama said, “I'm reaching out to some of America's leading foundations and corporations on a new initiative to help more young men of color facing tough odds stay on track and reach their full potential.”

Obama had planned to hold a White House event last week to officially present the project, but it has been postponed because of bad weather.

Among the challenges faced by the “My Brother's Keeper” program: The jobless rate for black men older than 20 in January was 12 percent, compared with 6.6 percent for the nation as a whole.

For Hispanic men older than 20, the jobless rate last month was 8.2 percent.

For younger blacks and Hispanics, unemployment rates are even higher.

One model for the new effort is a mentoring program in Chicago called “Becoming A Man,” which encourages young men to develop education and job training goals.

In a meeting with Obama a year ago, members of the BAM program talked about problems with gangs, drugs, gun violence and substandard schools in their neighborhoods, and how so many young people are at risk for lives of crime, poverty or early death.

Speaking after that meeting, the nation's first African-American president, who grew up with an absent father, said he told the group, “I had issues, too, when I was their age. I just had an environment that was a little more forgiving.”

Just as individuals have to change their approach and behavior, Obama said, “that's what it takes for communities to change. That's what it takes for countries to change. It's not easy.”

Young men in the BAM program are expected to attend the White House ceremony whenever it is re-scheduled.

Two Obama administration officials discussed the “My Brother's Keeper” program on condition of anonymity so as not to pre-empt Obama's announcement.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Planned Parenthood recordings release halted by judge
  2. Suspect in South Carolina church shooting wants to plead guilty to hate crimes, attorney says
  3. Baltimore slayings climb to level unseen in decades
  4. Amid 4-year drought, fears rise of trees dying, falling in California
  5. Despite U.S. dollars and bombs, effort failing to squash ISIS
  6. Fires’ fury unabated in California
  7. Global lion population falling primarily because of loss of habitat, experts say
  8. Analysts expect French laboratory will be able to provide details from examination of jet part
  9. Fetal parts in Planned Parenthood lab shown in 4th video
  10. Family finds $1M gold treasure in Florida
  11. Feds eye use of federal dollars for ads for for-profit colleges